Wrigley Field Restoration Update: Ald. Tunney and the Neighborhood React to Ricketts Announcement

Ald. Tom Tunney and the Lakeview neighborhood voiced their displeasure with the announcement Tom Ricketts made overnight Thursday that the team was moving forward with the plans to expand, restore and renovate Wrigley Field without an agreement in place with the Wrigleyville Rooftop Association.

There is concern among the Alderman and neighborhood that the additions and changes the Cubs have made to the Wrigley plan have already been approved due to the meeting with the Landmarks Commission being scheduled for June 5.

Ald. Tom Tunney told the media, “I’m opposed to any further signs at Wrigley Field beyond those agreed to last year.” Tunney pointed out “the renovation plan passed by the City Council last summer included a very generous sign package” and he “is disappointed that hard-earned compromise is being jeopardized.”

According to multiple reports, Tunney said, “The neighborhood gave a lot of concession to pass this planned development. We literally rolled out the red carpet to keep the team at the historic corner of Clark and Addison. I believe the ‘great neighbor’ goal is missing from this latest proposal and needs to be respected.”

If a sign permit is issued, Ald. Tunney said he believes a lawsuit will be filed “and the courts will decide.”

The Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman spoke with Wrigleyville community leaders on Thursday and received angry responses to the Cubs announcement and “warned” there could be a “political blacklash if Mayor Rahm Emanuel agrees to it.”

David Kaplan was given a copy of the contract the Cubs have with the rooftop clubs during the off-season. Here is a link to the details of the contract that Kaplan shared:

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  • Chris K.

    Literally rolled out the red carpet! If whining and stonewalling every step of the way is rolling out the red carpet….

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      Who are they kidding?

      • DWalker

        No no, he is absolutely correct. He just didn’t specify the red was blood.

  • J Daniel

    Simple. MOVE!

    • Denver Mike

      Just like the saying always says, “When the going gets tough, give up and do something easier”. That’s how it went right?

  • JasonOfTheBurbs

    CCO posters have been telling me how 40% of Cubs attendance is from out-of-state tourists.
    Wrigleyville doesn’t exist without the Cubs playing at Wrigley.
    The value of the “neighborhood” goes down tremendously without the Cubs.
    Alderman Tunney loves hearing himself talk and feeling important.

    Sum up all the above and I, the average local chicago-area lifelong Cubs fan, really have had enough.

    I don’t care about Tunney.
    I don’t care about the Wrigley neighborhood.
    I really really don’t care about the rooftops.

    If I only go to 1 game a year as it is, do you really think I care if the Cubs play at Wrigley or in the suburbs?

    If you counter by saying “they need the revenue that Wrigley brings!” then I would argue that Ricketts has already made it clear that Wrigley, in it’s current state, keeps him from being competitive.

    So just move and build a new stadium for the Chicago-area fans…we will flock to it in the burbs…I promise you. You can’t compare it to the Sox, since the Cell is in a bad part of the city.

    Or…just do what Ricketts is planning…ram the renovation down their throats. I am fine either way…I have just had enough of the stalling, the excuses, the whining, the illogical reasoning.

    • John G

      They’re not the Rosemont Cubs, or the Schaumburg Cubs, or the Naperville Cubs. They are the Chicago Cubs.

      • BigJonLilJon

        Do you realize how many sports teams don’t play in the city there named after??? Washington Nationals or Redskins. New York football teams play in Jersey. The Braves are moving outside Atlanta. These are just a few off the top of my head. It doesn’t matter whether they play in the suburbs or in Indiana…. they will still be the Chicago Cubs

    • BigJonLilJon

      Couldn’t have said it better myself. Who cares about the tourism money? Does that money go towards the team… mostly – no. I don’t buy the 40% figure to begin with. Unless your including Indiana and possibly Wisconsin(which are essentially suburbs of Chicago)… I still don’t buy it.

  • Rational Logic

    I’ve said this several times before. They can’t move. Wrigley is the income generating asset of that neighborhood. Moving the Cubs will kill the neighborhood and Tunney knows that. It’s a last ditch effort, that even knows is ultimately futile. The Cubs hold all the cards except one – the contract. It can be renegotiated or there can be a buy-out. 0% chance the Cubs leave. Way too expensive for them, reputation-damaging for Ricketts, etc.

    • BigJonLilJon

      That may be true. But.. what’s generating income for the neighborhood have to do with the Cubs? Nothing. Its not about the neighborhood for most of the fans of this team(only the ones living in Wrigleyville), its about having a team we can be proud of and cheer for.
      Any contract can be broken or bought out. If its better for the team… move!!!!

      • Rational Logic

        As Alderman, I’m pretty sure you don’t want the asset that generates substantial amounts of revenue (i.e. people coming to visit and eating in the restaurants, drinking in the bars, viewing the game) gone. There are so many derivative sources of income to the government through Wrigely – taxes on the businesses and property values. You take away Wrigley, property values decrease, bars have less traffic, tax revenue goes down, etc etc etc. The restoration project is going to be a huge boost for the neighborhood – hotel, more restaurants, more bars, more people spending money. Money that can be spent to repair the neiighborhood, build better schools, attract wealthier citizens…why would you push them out? He knows he can’t lose them, so he has no real grounds for his argument. The rooftop owners know it, too. They have 0 income if Wrigley leaves…that’s why the Cubs will win in the end because they hold the penultimate trump card – the ‘thing’ that produces all the money!

      • Rational Logic

        As for the Cubs, why would they want to move? You think Ricketts wants to be the owner to take the Cubs out of Wrigley? They can make so much more money in the city than they can in the ‘burbs. 20% of the people that go to the game are there to actually watch baseball. There is no chance the other 80% will drive all the way out to Rosemont and its boring neighborhood. Wrigley is about the bars and atmosphere around it as much as what is going on within the ballpark.

  • John

    Listen – you morons… if the Cubs go elsewhere (and I would, and would build a replica of Wrigley), then you get NOTHING. The rooftop owners are just BUILDING OWNERS… NOT part of the Cubs franchise. I hope the Cubs say “kiss my @#$” and go somewhere else!

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